Mental Health Counseling & Education
Croatian Baptist Aid started an education program on counseling and mental health „Helping Helpers“.
Croatian Baptist Aid started an education program on counseling and mental health „Helping Helpers“. The program started gradually and from different angles: first there was a program for prevention and care for the families with small children, then there was the program “Rest for the pastors and their families”; both of those programs are ongoing. Those projects prompted the organization to consciously look for professionals working in the fields of Christian counseling and psychotherapy. Croatian Baptist Aid started organizing individual counseling and therapy, and the Christian counseling program was even incorporated into the program Equipping Young Leaders (OMV).
The program on counseling and mental health “Helping Helpers” is the newest part of the support for the people in helping professions. It is held through education on Christian counseling that Croatian Baptist Aid is doing. The program is meant for people in ministry, those who are tired and weary, who experienced burnout, those who are helping others through difficult life situations, with the goal of creating a place where those workers can rest physically and spiritually but also where they can work on themselves, get professional training for helping others in a more quality manner. The leaders and lecturers of the program are highly trained and educated professionals who are long-term workers in the fields of counseling, psychotherapy, and Christian counseling.
The program on counseling and mental health “Helping Helpers” gathers people from different Church denominations, parachurch organizations, state services, businessmen but also people from different countries of this region. Croatian Baptist Aid believes that these projects are important and that their importance will be seen in the future, especially taking into account the arising needs and the rising number of people facing difficult circumstances in life.
Croatian Baptist Aid in this program emphasizes Christian principles:
- counselor’s healthy relationship with God
- the importance of prayer
- active listening
- knowing personal boundaries
- unconditional acceptance
- the importance of empathy
Because of that constant need, the program on counseling and mental health “Helping Helpers” is designed to last through the whole year. It consists of four weekend seminars, a central seven day training camp on the coast, as well as support groups in the participants’ countries of origin. The program is equipping and motivating participants to work with other people but also to keep working on their own growth and development. The program also helps participants find the time for themselves and their relationship with God and others. The program is divided into two parts: the first part is theological where the participants study Biblical texts and discuss them, and the other part is the education in psychology, Gestalt psychotherapy, Christian counseling and counseling through interactive group work.